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Mac® Security Bible by Joe Kissell

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6.3. Creating Good Passwords

I've read a great many procedures for creating secure passwords, and I've devised a few of my own. Lots of systems exist that purport to offer an easy-to-learn mechanism for creating passwords that would be difficult for a human (or even a computer) to guess, are long enough and complex enough to defeat most brute-force attacks, and yet are memorable. Although I provide a few examples ahead, the important thing to remember is that there's no single right way to create passwords. As long as you avoid making the mistakes that can compromise a password's security, the specifics of how you devise and remember passwords are entirely up to you.

6.3.1. Avoiding easily guessed passwords

So, what are the most common password mistakes? Whatever else you do, always avoid using the following, in any form, as a password — even in low-security applications:

  • Names — your own or those of friends, family, pets, or places

  • Dates of significant events (birthdays, anniversaries, and the like)

  • Words and phrases someone might associate with you, such as your favorite color, food, or song

  • Repeated characters, such as gggggg

  • Easily typed patterns, such as mnbvcx

  • Common passwords, such as password, password1, and 123456

You can find a list of the top ten passwords (at least according to one study) at www.modernlifeisrubbish.co.uk/article/top-10-most-common-passwords and a list of ...

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